CHAZY - When it comes to finding ways to show teenagers they don't need to smoke to fit in, one organization aims to do whatever it can.
Reality Check, a New York State Department of Health Tobacco Control Program, will host a "Movie in the Park" this Saturday, June 18, at Chazy Recreation Park. The Reality Check team in Chazy, which consists of teenagers from Chazy Central Rural School, chose to show "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," a smoke-free movie, which is also family-oriented.
The free movie showing comes in line with the many efforts of Reality Check to empower teenagers, ages 13-18, to fight against the tobacco industry and the way they market toward youth, explained Dana Isabella, program coordinator for Clinton and Essex counties.
The movie will be paired with a live performance by the band Early Morning, as well as a short educational piece explaining the Smoke-free Movie Campaign on which Reality Check is currently focusing, Isabella said.
"It's a way to reach out to the community to talk about the Smoke-free Movie Campaign and to engage people in the campaign," said Isabella. "It's important for us; we're working so that all youth rated films ... are tobacco-free. We need as much community support as we can get for the parent companies in the Motion Picture Association of America to make that change happen."
"What Reality Check is about is really eliminating the way that the tobacco industry reaches young people," added Isabella.
Reality Check is also working on two other campaigns, a point of purchase campaign which aims to "reduce, rearrange, or eliminate tobacco advertising at the point of sale," explained Isabella. They are also working on a periodical campaign which looks to "eliminate tobacco advertising in magazines in schools, in the school libraries and magazines that youth read that the industry doesn't think they read, like Rolling Stone."
Reality Check last hosted a movie night at the Clinton County Fairgrounds, but this is the first time it's been hosted in Chazy.
"The [Chazy] Lions Club was wonderful in letting us use the park," said Isabella. "Very supportive. The school's been very supportive. It's a great community."
The event will begin at 7 p.m. and will have a concession stand provided by the Chazy Girl Scouts. In the event of rain, the movie night will be postponed until Saturday, July 25.
For more information, contact Isabella at 570-7784 or visit www.wewontbebought.com.